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Oral Cancer Foundation Donates Screening Devices to West Virginia Free Clinics
Date:2/23/2010

According to WV Health Right executive director Patricia White, "West Virginia has some of the worst oral health statistics in the country, in large part because of the relatively high percentage of residents who are spit tobacco users and smokers."  Because of the well-established connection between tobacco usage and oral cancer, WV Health Right's dental clinic has always insisted on giving all patients a conventional oral cancer examination regardless of their reason for visiting the clinic.  The conventional exam is a manual palpation and visual inspection of the oral cavity and the neck. "Now," says Ms. White, "our clinicians can also view the oral cavity using fluorescence visualization technology, which will enhance our ability to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions that might be hard to see with the naked eye."

The Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic serves over 1,800 active patients in West Virginia's Harrison County. Volunteers include five dentists, five dental assistants, and one hygienist. Roughly half of the patients are employed but without health insurance, while the other half are elderly and rely largely on Medicare.

"A high percentage of our patients use chewing tobacco, smoking tobacco or both," said clinic dire
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SOURCE Oral Cancer Foundation
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